Sharp NEC Display Solutions client installation, Transportation

Brussels Airport

Long life, low TCO, full safety

Reducing the cost of ownership whilst delivering an enhanced experience for visitors in the arrivals hall has been achieved using dvLED technology from Sharp/NEC.

Connecting Belgium directly with 200 destinations worldwide through 70 airline operators, alongside international cargo operations, Brussels Airport is one of the most important centres of economic growth in Belgium. 2022 saw almost 19 million passengers pass through the airport for intra-European and long-haul flights, well on the way to matching its record pre-pandemic footfall of 26.4 million.

The challenge

‘Thinking and acting in a sustainable and customer-centric way’ is central to Brussels Airport’s strategic vision. Stargate, a project selected by the European Commission, sees Brussels Airport leading the way in proving that it is possible for airports and aviation to operate sustainably. Driving towards its green targets whilst providing a better experience for passengers was central to a decision to move to dvLED technology when replacing two flight information displays in the arrivals area.

“We were looking to replace our two end-of-life videowalls and to upgrade the experience of our visitors while waiting for friends and relatives to arrive,” explains Bert Devue, ICT Senior Product Manager Pax Info at Brussels Airport Company.

The existing NEC UN Series videowalls, each comprising 18 x 46” ultra narrow bezel displays, were due to be replaced having served the airport for 7 years.


The solution

As a long-time trusted supplier to Brussels Airport (since 2014), Sharp/NEC won the tender for the frame contract for the second time, maintaining its preferred supplier status for all FIDS displays and LED walls. Fire safety is a critical requirement in the airport environment and NEC display products are proven to be compliant to standards set by the airport’s Fire Safety Office. Sharp/NEC products come with a temperature monitoring and control system to trigger power shut down should it become necessary to prevent overheating and fire.

In comparing a 1.2mm and 1.5mm pixel pitch side by side, after a period of evaluation the team at Brussels Airport selected the LED-FE012i2 product with a finer pixel pitch ensuring the clarity and readability of flight information from close distance.

“We were able to rent demo devices with alternative dot pitch specs which made it possible for us to experiment, test and compare different content on each LED wall. In this way we were able to define the ideal font size for the flight information,” explains Bert Devue. “The FE-series was selected not only because of budgetary reasons, but also because the full redundancy offered by the FA Series was not required in this area of the terminal.”

Reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) was one of the main reasons for choosing dvLED over LCD technology: “In our experience with NEC LCD video wall technology, operating 24/7, the lifecycle is typically 5 to 6 years. However, with LED technology, we are looking to achieve a lifecycle of at least 10 years. With a longer lifecycle, we are reducing waste making it a sustainable choice too. LED has a much lower power consumption, reducing operating costs and minimising the cost of ownership over the longer period.”

The result

The two new LED screens display a mix of flight information and airport branding content. As visitors wait for passengers to pass through the arrivals hall, they are kept up to date with flight information and entertained by inspirational content about various travel destinations alongside success stories about sustainability and supporting good causes.

“The LED walls combined with creative content will contribute to a nice experience for our visitors, reducing perceived wait times while they anticipate the arrival of their friends and relatives,” confirms Bert Devue.

“Currently, each LED wall is split into two sections each driven by a CMS media player from Centomedia. Soon we will connect a single CMS player to manage the entire wall enabling more flexible use of the bezel-less surface and maximising its full potential.”